There can be many reasons why a full-scale, birth-to-present-day personal history is not the right option: a tight timeline, a restricted budget, health or other considerations that limit a storyteller’s energy or availability. Or you might want to focus on just one period of life, such as early childhood, courtship and marriage, or the beginning of a new career.
The process is similar to the full service personal history and typically includes these steps:
- Recording interviews. We sit down together in the comfort of your home, and you tell me your story. My questions and comments will help spark memories and keep you focused and on track. It’s an enjoyable experience for both of us!
- Preparing the narrative. I work with transcripts of the interviews to craft the material into an interesting, coherent narrative. Unless you request otherwise, the narrative will be in your voice, using your words, organized and gently edited to make the story flow.
- Reviewing the narrative. You will go over the draft narrative and make any revisions required — anything from correcting the spelling of a name to adding, deleting or changing a story. You have the final say over what is included in your book.
- Choosing the photos and documents. As you review the story, you choose the photos and documents you want to include. Genealogy charts, letters, the program from a special concert all contribute to your personal history.
- Producing the book. I revise your text according to your instructions and scan your photos and documents, then put everything together in an attractive layout. Once you have reviewed and approved the final version, I manage the printing and binding and deliver your personal history to you. A great reason to celebrate!
A “short story” personal history will usually require from two to five hours of interview, though more may be needed, depending on the period of life you want to cover and what you want to say about it. Typically, each hour of interview represents about 12 hours of work, including the interview itself, transcription, organizing and editing, and revision — an investment of $600 per interview hour. Incorporating photos and documents, layout and design, and managing printing and binding are charged separately.